Starting a business photography is not an easy job! If you want to do it in the right way, you need to follow these 5 expert tips!

If you have a keen eye for taking stunning photos or you have accumulated stock shots over the years that are not being utilized, then you might as well consider making some money off that gift as a side hustle.

Besides, instead of your photos gathering dust on a hard drive somewhere, putting them to good use or at least placing them someplace where the rest of the world can use them while making some passive income is a profitable proposition.

With the photography industry being what it is and online interactions and platforms on the rise, the need for quality stock photos can simply not be quenched, and the addition of your collection will be good for the world

Let’s have a look at some paid stock-photo websites that will pay you for contributing your photos to their sites.

Remuneration schemes differ from one site to another. Whatever payment structure they might have, you stand to benefit by editing and up loading your photos to selected sites. Consider it a complete win-win situation as you have nothing to lose.

One piece of advice though, out of prudence, it makes sense to consult with a stock-photo pro to make the best most informed decision possible and make sure you are on the straight and narrow legally.

If you are making some substantial amounts of money from your stock photos, you might incur some tax liabilities, and that’s why you want to know the rules of the game before hand.

1. Smug Mug Pro

Once you sign up, upload photos, select the products you want to sell and pick prices, you will have launched a new business venture. This site is excellent for those with an entrepreneurial mindset and know-how because it gives you leeway to price your photos as you see fit.

Smug Mug Pro lets you keep 85% of the mark up for your images. The only catch is you have to buy a pro subscription of $12.50 per month to benefit from the high royalty.

2. Shutterstock

The traffic and reputation among professional and high-end designers on this site is unprecedented making the sales high as well.

In total, Shutterstock contributors have earned a total of more than $300 million from over $500 million downloads. The site also sells stock video footage, including HD, 4K videos, as well as images and vectors. /p>

The pricing structure on Shutterstock is rather complicated. The longer you stick with them, the higher you earn. You can earn as much as $120 per image download. On their referral program, you can make about 4cents each time a referral sells an image.

3. 500X prime

To get started on 500X prime you will need to sign up first. After the sign-up, which is free, you can then submit your photos, enable your store and complete the necessary forms including model release and liability releases.

500X prime provide you with an option of selecting an exclusive or a non-exclusive license for your images. You stand to make more from an exclusive license, but then you cannot sell the image to anyone else.

About 500 million photographers list their stock images here. As per the website, you receive 70% net for every license sold. Standard licenses go for $250.


Although numerous stock photo sites pay photographers for their contribution, the three listed above seem to be the most lucrative with higher margins per image download. They also experience a high level of traffic on a daily basis.


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